“Fearless Women Fighters and Writers for Their Faith in 16th and 17th Century Germany”

Presented by Albrecht Classen

Distinguished Professor of German, University of Arizona

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:00pm at Changing Hands Bookstore

Co-sponsored by Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation and Project Humanities at Arizona State University

While most people will think only of male writers from the time of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter Reformation, this was not always the case. As recent research has demonstrated, during those turbulent times German women had many opportunities to come forward and to speak and write their mind about matters of faith. While Argula von Grumbach struggled hard, and for some time quite successfully, for the Protestant Reformation in Bavaria (until ca. 1530), Anna Ovena Hoyers emerged as a major voice in the efforts by Anabaptists and other alternative sectarian groups to maintain their own position within the ever more orthodox Protestant Church in northern Germany. Argula enjoyed major success with her broadsheets for a few years, but then her voice simply disappeared, probably muted by the authorities. Anna Ovena Hoyers found some support even among the duchess of her territory, but eventually she had to go into exile in Sweden, where she composed her most important collections of religious poems, published, however, only in Amsterdam.

About Albrecht Classen
Dr. Albrecht Classen is University Distinguished Professor and Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of German Studies at the University of Arizona. Dr. Albrecht Classen was born near Bad Hersfeld in Northern Hesse, Germany. He studied at the universities of Marburg, Erlangen (Germany), Millersville, PA (USA), Oxford (Great Britain), Salamanca (Spain), Urbino (Italy), and Charlottesville, VA (USA). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1986. He has a broad range of research interests covering the history of medieval and early modern German and European literature and culture from about 800 to 1800. He has published more than 70 scholarly books, critical editions, translations, and textbooks, and 6 poetry volumes of his own (Nov. 2012). He is the editor of Mediaevistik and Humanities-Open Access Journal.

For Further Reading
Erotic Tales of Medieval Germany. Selected and Trans. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 328 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2007)

Words of Love and Love of Words in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. Albrecht Classen. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 347 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2008),

The Power of a Woman’s Voice in Medieval and Early Modern Literature. Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture, 1 (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2007)

The Medieval Chastity Belt: A Myth-Making Process. The New Middle Ages (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Discourses on Love, Marriage, and Transgression in Medieval and Early Modern Literature, ed. Albrecht Classen. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 278 (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2004)

Late-Medieval German Women’s Poetry: Secular and Religious Songs. Trans. from the German with Introduction, Notes and Interpretive Essay. Library of Medieval Women (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2004)